Data has long shown that emergency room visits spike during Christmastime, with contributing factors including a rise in heart attacks, Christmas light fires and the occasional sewage explosion mishap. This week, Ben Wellington of I Quant NY took a look at injuries stemming from Christmas tree decorating and found those mishaps can send as many as 15,000 Americans to the hospital each year. Worth the sacrifice?

In a piece for The New Yorker, Wellington noted that the number of E.R. visits increase significantly between Thanksgiving and Christmas, with December 4th through December 7th seeing the biggest spike. This, Wellington says, is in part thanks to an abundance of decorating accidents—these include, but are not limited to:

  • Falling off a chair while hanging decorations
  • Falling off a ladder while hang decorations
  • Eating ornaments (typically afflicts children, but the occasional orally-fixated adult can fall prey to this as well)

Wellington doesn't provide any tips for avoiding Decoration Disaster, though the National Safety Council has a helpful guide [pdf] for avoiding ladder spills and tree fires. Do note that you are not out of danger once the sun sets on the 25th, with Wellington pointing to another accident spike after Christmas and on January 4th, likely due to decoration removal and/or excessive eggnog ingestion.

And, naturally, all of this can be avoided if you eschew all this corporate madness and celebrate Christmas like the earliest Christians—as in, not at all.